Fees and Costs – Employment Matters

Employment law

The information on this page refers to our fees and costs for representation at an employment tribunal for a claim of unfair or wrongful dismissal.

Our fees and costs (disbursements)

Our fees will usually be based on our hourly rates for the time we spend working on the case. The complexity of the matter will dictate the legal fees we charge.

All fees are subject to VAT. The present rate of VAT is 20%

A claim for unfair dismissal or wrongful dismissal:

  • A simple case will generate fees from £7,000 – £10,000 (excluding VAT & disbursements)
  • A medium complexity will generate fees from £10,000 – £17,000 (excluding VAT & disbursements)
  • A highly complex case will generate fees £17,000 – £40,000 (excluding VAT & disbursements)

Many factors can contribute to the complexity of the case and add to the amount of time your solicitor needs to spend working on it, such as:

  • Number of documents your legal team needs to go through
  • Early ACAS negotiations and efforts to settle the matter early in the process
  • Number of witnesses and their statements to draft and review
  • Disclosure of documents and issues around disclosure
  • Number of experts called to provide evidence
  • A discrimination or harassment element or a dispute over wages

Conditional Fee / Damages-based Agreements / “No win no fee”

If you are an employee and we consider there to be good prospects following an initial assessment of your claim, we may be able to offer a conditional fee arrangement (known as “no win no fee”) which will be provided in writing and explained to you by your solicitor at the outset. 


Disbursements are charges due to third parties (expert’s report fees, barrister’s fees, etc) which we pay on your behalf. The charges to third parties normally attract VAT.

Likely costs of disbursements:

Experts will charge anything from £350 to £1,500 plus VAT for their reports.

Barrister’s fees for preparation of the pleadings range from £950 plus VAT to £1,950 plus VAT.  Barrister’s fees for preparation and attendance of the final hearing are normally charged at the sum of £1,000 plus VAT per day of the hearing, so if the hearing is scheduled for 5 days the typical fee will be in excess of £5,000 plus VAT.

What we will do for you

The work we carry out for an employee or employer in relation to an employment tribunal claim for unfair dismissal or wrongful dismissal will usually involve:

  • Taking initial instructions from you, reviewing the documents you supply us with and giving you advice on the merits of your claim
  • For an employer defending the claim, we advise on the basis of your defence and the amount of compensation you could be ordered to pay if unsuccessful in defending
  • Entering into ACAS conciliation
  • Preparing the claim or response
  • Advising on the claim or response from the other party
  • Preparing or considering a schedule of loss
  • Preparing for and attending a preliminary hearing
  • Preparing Disclosure and exchanging documents
  • Drafting witness statements and advising on the other party’s witness statements
  • If requested by the Tribunal, preparing a bundle of documents
  • Drafting instructions to Counsel and preparation and attendance at the tribunal hearing

How long it takes

The timescale from taking your initial instructions to the conclusion of your matter depends largely on the stage at which your case is resolved. If a settlement is reached during the ACAS conciliation, the case may conclude within a few weeks. If your matter proceeds to a final hearing, your case is likely to take 12 months or longer, depending on the availability of a hearing date. We will give you more accurate information of the timescale once all dates are agreed with the Tribunal.